Linguistics and the Human Sciences, Vol 4, No 2 (2008)

‘It’s really a great presentation!’: Appraising candidates in job interviews

Caroline Lipovsky
Issued Date: 6 May 2011


It is crucial that interviewers in job interviews make a good impression on candidates so they can attract the right person for the position they need to fill. The large body of literature on job interviews however mostly focuses on interviewers’ impressions of the candidates. This study aims at redressing the imbalance by examining interviewers’ impression management strategies. In particular, it explores the ways in which interviewers evaluate candidates in the course of their interviews. Drawing on systemic functional linguistics, and in particular on Appraisal theory (Martin and White, 2005), this paper examines a set of authentic job interviews in French, or French and English. The analysis of the job interviews is complemented by analysis of participants’ comments on their interviews. The first analysis reveals an evaluative stance that is overwhelmingly positive and favourable to candidates, while the second shows candidates’ positive reaction and alignment to their interviewers’ appraisal.

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DOI: 10.1558/lhs.v4i2.161


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